Star Wars: The Bad Batch S2, Ep 11 Review
While the world’s focus might be on the return of The Mandalorian, that doesn’t make the story of The Bad Batch any less important. Considering how the show has shined a light on the early days of the Empire and the plans that Sidious has in store for the Galaxy, I think people should keep paying attention. Especially since the new episode reminds us of Sidious’ ultimate plans to cheat death and continues an unresolved storyline from The Clone Wars. The Zillo Beast Returns!
I Never Thought I’d See the Beast’s Return…
The opening segments of the episode revolve around a derelict Imperial transport carrying…something. We don’t see what it is (yet), but it’s important to the Empire, and they want it back. What we do see is how it kills everyone aboard that ship before it crashes.
In comes the Bad Batch, fresh off leaving that mining world and, understandably, mad at Sid for not helping them. She tries to keep them working for her by offering them the job of salvaging that crashed transport and half the cut. However, it’s a stop-gap measure, at best. It’s clear that the Bad Batch’s growing tired of working under Sid, and they may decide to leave her unless she gets her act together.
They might not have a choice anymore, though. Thanks to this job, they 1.) almost get killed, 2.) get on the Empire’s radar, and 3.) learn that they’ve cloned a certain creature. The Zillo Beast returns after all these years.
What is the Zillo Beast?
For those who don’t remember or didn’t watch The Clone Wars, here’s a refresher on the Zillo Beast, the resident Kaiju of Star Wars.
During a massive battle on the planet Malastare, the Republic deployed this new EMP bomb to win against the Separatists. It worked, but it also woke something up. Enter the Zillo Beast, a massive, five-limbed predator the Dug’s thought they wiped out centuries ago. Its armor’s not only immune to blaster fire, but it’s lightsaber-proof. So when he heard about this, Sidious decided, “I want it,” and had the Jedi and Clones capture it for research. Unfortunately, however, he made the mistake of bringing it to Coruscant instead of sending it to an unpopulated world.
What happened next was a sci-fi version of the plot to King Kong. The Zillo Beast broke out, killed thousands, and tried to kill Palpatine before the Jedi and Clones could kill it. However, Palpatine secretly ordered his scientists to clone it. Now, a new Zillo Beast feeds on energy to grow bigger.
All Part of Sidious’ Plans to Cheat Death
It turns out there’s a reason why the cloned Zillo Beast was on an Imperial Transport. It and many other related assets were being brought to the Empire’s secret research facility. The Emperor wanted to consolidate his cloning technology under one roof. While the Bad Batch starts putting the pieces together by the end of the episode, fans who saw The Rise of Skywalker might know what Sidious’ end goal is.
As shoehorned in as it may seem in the film, Sidious’ ultimate goal has always been to cheat death. As we see in TROS, he did so, albeit in an imperfectly cloned body. What we see in The Bad Batch is the beginning of the program that will see the Emperor return from death. And as the Bad Batch figures out, that’s why Kamino was destroyed; the Emperor didn’t need the competition.
The Bad Batch is Back on the Empire’s Radar
The end of the episode makes things worse as if the implications of the cloned Zillo Beast aren’t bad enough. The new head of the cloning program’s been trying to get Nala Se to cooperate to no avail. Thus, when the former Prime Minister of Kamino’s brought to him, he told him the means to control the Doctor: Omega. Nala Se will do whatever the Empire wants if she’s found and captured.
Compounding this, the Bad Batch was spotted by the Empire during the struggle against the Zillo Beast. While they weren’t identified, the Empire’s now looking into them. As a result, it’s only a matter of time before they’re hunted once more.
I think that this was the best thing the show could do as the season winds down. Between the growing distrust of Sid, Echo’s departure, and the pending danger, the status quo for the Bad Batch will soon become upended. They may not have chosen the path that Rex and Echo did, but they might not have a choice soon. It’s like the Force’s pushing them on this path. Let’s see where this goes.